For Immediate Release
April 20, 2021
STATEMENT: Mayor Crombie Responds to Peel Public Health’s Amended Section 22 Order
“Today, Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, amended the current Section 22 Order on Workplaces in Peel Region, directing all businesses with five or more lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days to close for 10 days. This order specifically applies to businesses with COVID-positive employees who could have “reasonably” acquired their infection at work, or there is no obvious identified source of infection outside the workplace.
I realize this will be very difficult for many employers and employees, but I firmly believe this is a necessary step to halt the rampant spread of this virus in Mississauga and in all of Peel Region.
We have long known that workplaces are driving the spread of this virus in Peel. Since the onset of the pandemic, Peel Region has seen 402 workplace outbreaks, and we know that this ultimately leads to household and wider community spread. I believe this new order will protect our essential workers, who have shouldered a disproportionate amount of risk during this pandemic, as well as the community at large.
I do, however, have concerns with how affected employees will be paid while isolating. Because this new order requires all employees at an affected business to self-isolate – and employees are not permitted to work at any other workplace – I urge all employers impacted by closures to do the right thing and provide all of their employees with paid time off.
I also once again call on the federal and provincial governments to work together to mandate paid sick leave for all workers who need to self-isolate. We need a program that does not disrupt a worker’s wage and is sufficient enough for people to still pay their rent and put food on the table. The data show us that too many workers are still going into work when sick because they fear losing a pay cheque.
The first closures could be ordered as soon as Friday, April 23, 2021. The Order to close will be in effect as long as Peel remains in shutdown or Grey-Lockdown.
We are at critical juncture in our battle against COVID-19, and I support all measures, that are backed by science and data, to get this virus under control.”